About Conwy Bay

Conwy Bay (also known as Conway Bay) is situated on the north-west coast of Wales, surrounded by magnificent Welsh countryside and impressive mountains of Snowdonia. Conwy itself is a medieval town with a rich history and a mighty 13th-century castle at its heart. Conwy Bay was once home to one of the most important pearl mussel fisheries in the country and provided a significant number of pearls for jewellers in London in the early 1800s. Vital shellfish research was carried out in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAFF now CEFAS) Fisheries Experimental Station to support fisheries from 1919 to 1999, and currently the region has a low impact, self-sustaining mussel fishery which still uses traditional handheld rakes. Conwy Bay is also a part of a designated Special Area of Conservation with unique underwater habitats and important marine plants and animals.
Wales once had a prolific fishery for the native oyster which provided a vital food source to the local coastal communities and contribution to the Welsh economy. The significant Mumbles or ‘Oystermouth’ fishery was the largest in Wales supporting 400 fishers across 188 boats. Locally to Conwy Bay, there were also productive native oyster beds during the 18th and 19th centuries in the Menai Strait near Caernarfon and Bangor, off Puffin Island and around Anglesey in Rhoscolyn and Llanddwyn Island. In its heyday in the mid- 1800s, Welsh oyster boats reported landing 8,000 oysters daily, but up to 15,000- 20,000 oysters in some areas. Although fishing for native oysters in Wales had begun much earlier, with native oyster shells discovered dating back to the Neolithic and the Bronze Age (about 12,000 years ago)! Sadly only a few small native oyster populations remain in Wales, but by working together we hope to help to restore this historically important species and support an ocean full of life.

Nursery Locations

Situated within one of the busiest estuaries in North Wales, is Conwy Marina on the western bank and Deganwy Marina located on the eastern bank of the River Conwy which flows into the Irish Sea. The marinas are placed in the scenic cruising grounds of the North Wales coast with pristine views across Wales’ largest National Park, Snowdonia National Park. With great road and water access, marina members can easily venture to desirable sailing destinations such as around Anglesey, Liverpool, or can explore the rich tapestry of Conwy and the surrounding areas.

Deganwy Marina

Deganwy Marina, Deganwy Quay,
Deganwy, Conwy LL31 9DJ

deganwymarina.co.uk/

Conwy Marina

Conwy Marina, Conwy Marina Ellis Way,
Conwy LL32 8GU

boatfolk.co.uk/conwy-marina-wales

Local Delivery partners

We are working with local delivery partner School of Ocean Sciences at Bangor University to deliver the Conwy Bay Oyster Restoration Hub.

Bangor University

Bangor University was founded in 1884, today it is a thriving, forward-looking institution offering excellent opportunities. Around 10,000 students currently study with us and our teaching and research is grouped into fourteen academic Schools.

Meet your local project officer:

Maria Hayden-Hughes

Maria is a marine scientist who has studied and worked in Wales for the past 8 years. She is also a researcher at Bangor University working on The Shellfish Centre, a research and innovation project supporting development of the shellfish sector in Wales. Maria’s prior research has investigated the environmental interactions, biodiversity and population dynamics for a range of shellfish species.

How can you get involved?

If you would like to get involved in the Conwy Bay oyster restoration efforts, please get in touch with Maria by contacting Wild.Oysters@zsl.org.

If you are interested in following the local progress of the Conwy Bay restoration hub, we invite you to join our closed Facebook group

We welcome contact from volunteers, places of education, and community groups!